February 5, 2013

The Electric Run 5k Race Recap

This weekend held yet another race for me. Not just one, but two.  I have raced every weekend but one this year....I'm actually relieved that all that is over, and I only have a few races left spread out over the rest of the year.

I signed up for the Electric Run months ago. Per their website, "The Electric Run is a 5k run/walk at night with amazing lighting effects that are synchronized to music! Participants are encouraged to get their glow on by dressing up with neon attire and glow accessories". It looked like so much fun, and I really wanted to do it with my son, D.  These days there are so many themed 5k runs out there---color runs, mud runs, zombie runs, etc---and while it's not something I would necessarily do by myself, I'm all for doing it with my 8 year old!

I was a bit concerned about the size of the race.  Ten thousand people signed up!  For a 5k! There were two days for packet pickup (at two different locations) so I went as early as I could on Friday to get ours. Luckily, I got there at 2:15 (it opened at 2) and walked up with no problem and had no wait at all. I heard they were expecting 5,000 people so I'm glad I got there early. The website states that in addition to the race t-shirt, we would also receive a glow necklace, glow sunglasses, and an LED bracelet. We only received the bracelet and glasses in our packet.  No big deal, as I had gone to Michael's and bought lots of glow-in-the-dark gear (bracelets, necklaces and swords/wands to carry) but still, I was disappointed.  Also, the shirts, while cute (black with "Electric Run" on it) were so small!  They had women's cut, which I appreciated, but I couldn't believe how small they ran. I am pretty much a true-to-size medium in shirts, and I ended up getting an extra large--and that was tight on me!

We were advised to get to the race very early as there a huge shortage of parking at the Del Mar Fairgrounds (where the race was) and, as I said, ten thousand runners.  Since the race started at 7:00 p.m., they were recommending we get there at 5:00.  So we did.  We brought dinner with us, got a close parking spot, and hung out for a few hours. Luckily the car next to us had some boys around D's age who were running around with their glow sticks, so he got to play. The time passed quickly, and soon it was time to line up. We put on all of our glow gear, and headed over to the corrals. They were having first-come, first-served waves of 1,000 people each, for a total of 10 waves.  Although we got in line pretty early, we were in the third wave.

start line

The race started promptly at 7:00, and I think we got underway at around 7:15.  Running, I had a strange sense of deja vu---I am not someone who usually runs in the dark, but here I was, running in the dark for the third time already this year (at night at the New Year's Race Los Angeles, and before sunrise at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon).  We took it really slowly, and actually walked much of the race.  It was untimed, and since I had a big 15k trail race the next day, I didn't want to burn myself out.

arches to run through

As it turns out, this race was so fun! Amazing!  There were lots of dark stretches, but then there would be the glow-in-the dark stuff.  Some were lit up arches to run through. Other places had lights displayed on the wall. Still others had displays of lit-up balloons, lanterns, or umbrellas.  At the lit up sections great music played.  At one part, I told D "I can't run this part, and I can't walk this part. I need to dance this part!" The music was so contagious, and there was such a disco vibe, that he and I danced our way down that section of the course. It was also fun to look at the other runners, all of whom were lit up. Some, like us, simply wore glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets, but others had full-on lit, blinking costumes, and everything in between. People really had fun with the theme.

One thing I liked about the course was running on the racetrack. Most of the race was around the actual fairgrounds area, but we did a portion of it on the track where the horses run. That was cool, something I wouldn't normally get to experience. Too bad it was so dark and I couldn't see much!


lit umbrellas in a palm tree

I've never been to a rave, but I'd imagine that this is what it would be like.  Lots of music, glow-in-the-dark, and fun.  We finally approached the finish line (decked out in disco balls) and headed straight for the car.  It's hard to believe, but the last wave left the start line just before we finished.  I can't believe how many people were there, and I'm so thankful we got there early! The water at the end (and at the aid station mid-way) was served in neon-colored plastic cups rather than paper cups.  Of course, D kept ours to take home.

 The only negative was that because of where we parked (where we were directed to by the parking attendants) we had to wait about 30 minutes in the car after we were done in order to leave, as otherwise we'd be driving onto the course. They had to wait for that part to clear of all the runners.  Other than the parking situation at the end, I loved this race. It was so fun to run it with my son, and the vibe was definitely PARTY!  The only change I would make is to still get there early (to ensure parking and an early wave start) but to park in a different place for an easier exit.

finish line


  1. You never said how long it took you to compete the race! Im going in november and am super excited.

  2. Thank you for the review! I would do this with my 8 & 7 y/o boys, but we would walk, not run. Would we be the only "walkers" ? The website said walkers welcome,but I wondered how many people actually walk in reality.

    Planning for NYC in Sept! Should be amazing!

    1. I think a lot of people walk! Even people who normally would run....it's dark, and people stop at the light stations. You will NOT be the only walkers, by far! Have fun!

  3. What time did it end.?


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